reviewers

Monday Musings: Fish Or Cut Bait a.k.a. Deciding What I Want To Be

This past week, I had a bit of an emotional snap.  A crisis of faith, an overload of frustration, or the straw that broke the camel’s back, any and all of those might be apt descriptions for my state of being at the time.  They say, and I agree, that being an author is a battle of attrition and the greatest asset needed to fight that battle is an abundance of stubborn determination, and my own supply seemed close to spent.

My closest friends sought to console me, bolster my confidence, and provide their own advice as to the cause of my problems.  What they concluded on I then put forward in a more clinical fashion to some of my colleagues.  Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when they all fell into agreement.  It seemed that the ultimate cause of my issues was that I spread myself too thin.

You see, my foodies, it came down to a choice, one that I will paraphrase here: Do I wish to be the guy who supports authors and does work for them who does some writing on the side or the full-time author who also happens to be very supportive to other authors?  My fellow book bloggers out there who are consistently active in supporting and reviewing will understand, but for others, you may not realize how much time, energy, and resources goes into a consistent schedule of reviews, interviews, and advice.  A lot can go on behind the scenes, especially follow-up to reviews if the author is looking for deeper insights to your critiques.

Not only that, but my advocacy was crowding out my own writing not only in the matter of time, but in the matter of what some would call ‘branding’.  My book reviews and writing articles were drawing far more attention than my own works, the thing that actually is my primary career.  Instead of seguing from reading reviews or articles to then go on to the books themselves, the average visitor halts there.  J. B. Garner, Author, is lost behind the guise of the Starving Reviewer.

Does this mean the reviews and articles are stopping to be replaced by daily book promotions?  No, I’m not that kind of guy.  I have supported authors to try to pay it forward for those few that have done the same for me, and my conscience would be ill at ease if I abruptly cut off all those who are still waiting in my TBR list.  All the same, expect more content here to be directed or to reference my own works.  The fact is that I am an AUTHOR first and I must act like one, instead of the nice guy who pats other authors on the back.

Writing Is A Bad Habit: All Reviews Are Good a.k.a. The Etiquette of Accepting Reviews

It isn’t easy for an author to push their work out for review.  For many of us, there is a certain introvertism at work that make self-promotion of any kind hard.  For others, there is a certain instinctual self-protectiveness at play.  We don’t want others to pick over the work that we’ve invested so much of ourselves into.

And yet, reviews are one of the best ways to garner input, opinion, and critical insights about our works.  Without the insights reviews grant us, it becomes that much harder to improve in the future, not to mention the promotional value of a wide amount of reviews.  People simply find it easier to buy in on something that others have done so as opposed to a fully untested item.

What about bad reviews though?  Those hurt you, don’t they?  What should you do about them?

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